3rd Grade Arts Experience Teacher Guide

Welcome to AGREE’s “Stars Shine Brightly” Arts Experiences! Designed to help K-5 Educators to address Arizona standards in Arts, World Native Language Studies, ELA and Social Studies. Created by Arizonans for Arizonans, this resource is for the classroom and is designed to be facilitated in order. Each grade level has 5 experiences involving Storytelling, Music, Theater, Dance, and Visual Art, with topics that broaden students’ understanding of The Golden Rule.

Arts Experience #1


AZ PO Strands

3.C1.2, 3.NF.A.3

AGREE Strand



Social Studies Objective: (3.C1.2) Use listening, consensus-building, and voting procedures to decide on and take action in their classrooms.

Math Objective: (3.NF.A.3) Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers. 

AGREE Objective: (SSB.G-3.1) Students will talk about being under pressure and connect it with how they treat others.


AGREE Resources:

AGREE Website Resources: “Two Hikers and the Wolf” Resource,

Additional Materials: Scrap paper (1 per student), 2 percussive instruments

Cultural Focus

Southeastern United States

Colloquial Expression: Audio Resource (Appalachian English)

Everything that glitters is not gold.

Golden Rule Activity:

  1. Explain that today the class will be put under some pressure. Let them know that, “Every day we are facing challenges and are under pressure. Today you will be given a simple challenge. After the challenge, we will share with each other how we felt during the challenge.”
  2. Pass out a piece of paper to each student then read the following instructions to your students without repeating.
    • Fold your paper in half.
    • Fold it in half again.
    • And again.
    • And again.
    • And again.
    • Without unfolding, rip it in half
  3. Ask the question, “How did you feel when you were trying to rip the paper in half? How did you respond to the challenge? Did you notice how the people around you were responding?”
    • Optional: Have students unfold their paper and count the rectangles. Ask them how many rectangles are there total? How would we write 1 rectangle as a fraction? (1/32)
  4. “When we are under pressure, we start to break down a little, like a fraction. Little parts of us get nervous, scared, frustrated, embarrassed and we sometimes start treating people we care about differently.”

Telling the Story:

  1. “This is a story set in a geographical area of the United States called Appalachia. It includes parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and goes all the way up to Main. In the story, two friends hiking the Appalachian Trail are put under pressure when they encounter a wolf. As we read the story, think about how you would respond if you saw a wolf. Can you understand their responses?” 
  2. Use the “Two Hikers and the Wolf” Resource.
  3. Choose two students to stand in front of the class, each receiving a percussive instrument. Assign one student the word “wolf” and the other student the word “friends” or “friend”. Every time they hear their word they will make a sound on their instrument.

Golden Rule Activity Part 2

  1. “Everything that glitters is not gold,”  is an expression from Appalachia and one way to interpret it is that things that seem amazing may not be as good as they appear. 
  2. “Have you ever had a friend put you under pressure or did something hurtful? Is there ever a time when you might need to walk away from a friend?”
  3. “Sometimes we can work through hard times and differences! Especially with our best buddies.” 
  4. Make a chart on the white board and label one side “My Ideal Best Buddy Would…” and the other side “My Ideal Best Buddy Would Not…”. As a class list, ways you would or would not want a friend to treat you,
  5. Ask students to start treating their friends the way they wish their friends would treat them. “This will help you not only live the Golden Rule but also be a better friend!”

Golden Rule Challenge: I will treat others, especially my friends, the way I would want to be treated.

Golden Question: How do we treat someone who made a bad decision under pressure? How would you want to be treated?

Arts Experience #2


AZ PO Strand

MU.RE.7.3a, IR.NL.1 

Agree Strand



Music Objective: (MU.RE.7.3a) Explain how music listening is influenced by personal interest, knowledge, purpose, and context.

World/Native Language Objective: (IR.NL.1 ) Recognize a few letters or characters and learned words and phrases. 

AGREE Objective: (SSB.G-3.2) Students will share about things they like and discuss how to appreciate the differences in others.


AGREE Resources:

“How do ye call yer ole best Buddy?” Music Resources, Musical Instruments Visual Resource, “ya, yer, ole, ‘em” Audio Resource (on this page), “How do ye call yer ole best Buddy?” Lyrics Resource

Additional Materials: A map of the United States, (per student) writing utensil and paper

Cultural Focus

Southeastern United States

Audio Resorce

“ya, yer, ole, ‘em”

Prospecting for Gold: How have you been treating your friends?

Singing the Song:

  1. “The song we will be learning was created by Arizonan as inspired by the bluegrass music genre. Musical instruments play a big part in musical genres.”
  2. Optional: Discuss the music they like to listen to and what instruments were used to create the sounds they enjoy listening to. 
  1. Display the poster Musical Instruments Visual Resource of instruments that were used to create the AGREE Stars Shine Brightly Album.
  2. Challenge students to identify and write down the names of the instruments that they hear in the song. Play only the first half of the song “How do ye call yer ole best Buddy?” Music Resources.
  3. After listening, invite students to share the instruments they heard (instruments: tambourine, guitar, banjo, violin). 
  4. Explain, “Another important part of this musical style are the lyrics. In this song you heard slang or abbreviated words.” Write these words and translations on the board and have students say them out loud.  (Use “ya, yer, ole, ‘em” Audio Resource* for an appalachian pronunciation). 
    • ya = you
    • yer = your
    • ole = old
    • ‘em = them
  5. “These lyrics and music style are probably different from the lyrics and music you normally listen to. What do you like about it? How did you feel as you were listening to this new style of music?”
  6. “This song is about how we treat our friends.” Read the chorus of the song to your students, “How do ye call yer ole best Buddy?” Lyrics Resource and have them answer the following yes or no questions:
    • When they’re a hurtin’ do ya kick ‘em? 
    • When they’re a frightened to ya leave ‘em there? 
    • When they’re a cryin do ya tease ‘em? 
    • What about when a wolf is there? 
  7. Discuss with your students what a “wolf” could represent (e.g. a dangerous situation, getting in trouble, someone getting their feelings hurt, etc).
  8. Now play the second half of the song for your students and encourage them to clap and sing along. You may also want to allow them to stand and get their wiggles out.

Golden Question: When you are in embarrassing or other “pressured” situations, how would you like to be treated?

Golden Rule Challenge: I can be friends with someone who is going through a hard time.

Arts Experience #3


AZ PO Strand

TH.CR.2.Ka., K.RL.1, TH.CN.10.3a, 3.RL.3

Agree Strand



Theater Objective: (TH.CN.10.3a) Use personal experiences and knowledge to make connections to community and culture in a theatrical work.

ELA Objective: (3.RL.3) Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

AGREE Objective: (SSB.G-3.3) Students will identify aspects of their own culture and explore how to get along with people who are different than they are.


AGREE Website Resources: “A Hiking Tale on the Appalachian Trail” Script Resource, “Mad as a wet hen” Audio Resource (on this page)

Materials: Printed scripts, Paper, Drawing Tools

Cultural Focus

Southeastern United States

Colloquial Expression Audio Resource

Mad as a wet hen

Prospecting for Gold: Have you been a friend to someone under pressure lately? How?

Golden Rule Activity: 

  1. Start a discussion by asking, “How do you feel when someone does something strange that you don’t understand? Ever felt “Mad as a wet hen” (really mad) when someone does something that makes things more difficult or messes with your idea of how something should be done? 
  2. Define culture for your class: the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. Sometimes we need to learn about someone’s culture and preferences in order to not get mad when they do something differently than us.”
  3. “How would you describe your own culture?” You may consider listing the following things to help them identify aspects of their culture: food I eat, celebrations with my family, language, special occasions, etc.
  4. Invite students to draw pictures of their culture, reminding them of aspects listed above.
  5. Once they’ve had time to draw a few things, divide students into small groups. Have students share about what they drew with each other.
  6. As a group, have them identify 1 thing all have in common and 1 thing that is different about each of their personal cultures. 

Reading the Script:

  1. “In the script we will be reading, each hiker has a slightly different cultural background, just like all of us, including different food preferences and family relations.  We will read about two sets of hikers who respond differently to meeting a wolf on the trail.” (“A Hiking Tale on the Appalachian Trail” Reading Resource)
  2. Assign 6 students parts to read, preferably strong readers for the hiker roles. Encourage them to speak loudly and clearly as they read through the script.
  3. After reading through the script, Ask the following questions: 
    • What choices did the first set of hikers make?
    • What choices did the second set of hikers make?
  4. Do you think their unique cultures influenced those choices? 
  5. How do you feel when someone treats you badly? Ever felt “Mad as a wet hen”?

Golden Rule Challenge: When I am with people who act differently than I do, I’ll listen, learn, and understand them.

Golden Ques: When I am with people who act differently than I do, I’ll listen, learn, and understand them.

Arts Experience #4


AZ PO Strand

DA.PR.5.3b; CUL.N.1

Agree Strand



Dance Objective: (DA.PR.5.3b) Move safely in a variety of spatial relationships and formations with other dancers, sharing and maintaining personal space.

World/Native Language Objective: (CUL.N.1) Participate in age- appropriate and culturally authentic activities such as celebrations, songs, games, and dances; recognize products of culture 

AGREE Objective: (SSB.G-3.4) Students will discuss and consider treating each person they meet as a possible friend.


AGREE Resources:

“Happy as a little pig in a mud puddle” Audio Resource (on this page), “Friendship Contra Dance” Video Resource, “How do ye call yer ole Best Buddy?” Music Resource

Cultural Focus

Southeastern United States

Colloquial Expression Audio Resoruce

Happy as a little pig in a mud puddle

Prospecting for Gold: What are some ways you enjoy getting to know people who are different from you?

Doing the Dance:

  1. “Contra Dancing is a social event that has trace elements in cultures throughout the world, including the Appalachian Region in the United States. For some people, it makes them feel, “Happy as a little pig in a mud puddle (really happy). (Use “Happy as a little pig in a mud puddle” Audio Resource (on this page) for fun pronunciation). The challenge in contra dancing is to have everyone move in intricate patterns as a group, usually someone calls the movements. 
  2. “As a class, we will be learning how to do the Friendship Contra Dance.” Use the “Friendship Contra Dance” Video Resource to assist in teaching the dance.
  3. Organize students into groups of 6. Within their groups, help them stand in two lines facing each other. The person that they are standing opposite of is their partner.  Encourage them to partner with someone they don’t normally spend time with. (“How do ye call yer ole Best Buddy?” Music Resource)
    1. Pick one end of the lines to be the top and identify the “Top partners” for  each group.
  4. The dance starts with all dancers waving to their partner and saying “howdy partner!”
    • Walk forward to partner, high five, walk backwards to your beginning spot, clap twice. (8 counts)
    • Repeat. (8 counts)
    • Right arm turn: right arms link and partners turn around till they get back to their beginning spot facing partner, clap twice. (8 counts)
    • Repeat with left arm. (8 counts + slight pause)
    • “Top Partners” walk down the center of the group with everyone else following, following the “top partner” person from their line and following them around the backside of their line (8 counts).
    • “Top Partners” walk around the back side of each line (walking away from each other) and back to their original places, making a bridge with their hands joining for everyone to walk under.
    • Each set of partners then walk under the bridge together, staying in order, forming the two original lines again but in new locations in the line. They will be facing their original partner.
    • “Top Partners” walk around the backside of their line as the dance begins again and join the dance at the bottom of their line, facing their original partner. There is now a set of new “Top Partners.”
    • Repeat steps a through g two more times. At the end of the song, students will repeat steps a through d one more time but instead of following the top partners, end by walking in a circle around themselves in place till they face their partner again and bow/curtsey. 
  5. This dance can get tricky and may need to be repeated multiple times to understand the movement patterns. When repeating for practice, have students switch partners each time.

Golden Question: How did we treat each other as we danced? Were we treating each other the way we’d like to be treated?

Golden Rule Challenge: I treat everyone I meet with the same respect I want to receive.

Arts Experience #5

Visual Art

AZ PO Strand


Agree Strand



Visual Art Objective: (VA.CR.2.3a) Create artwork using a variety of artistic processes, materials, and approaches (such as using elements and principles of modern art, applying artistic ideas from diverse cultures, etc.).

AGREE Objective: (SSB.G-3.5) Students will create together while being open to the differences of others and illustrating what friendship looks like.


AGREE Website Resources: Quilt Frame Print Resource (colored paper), Quilt Strips Print Resource (white paper)

Additional Materials (per student): Watercolor paint, Coloring supplies, scissors, glue

Cultural Focus

Southeastern United States

Prospecting for Gold: Is there a limit to how many friends you can have? Why or why not?

Creating the Art:

  1. “Friendship can be like a warm quilt during cold times.” Explain that you will be making friendship quilts, which will require everyone to both give to and receive from others.
  2. “We can buy blankets and quilts at the store with all new materials. In the past, people would cut up their old clothing that was worn out or no longer fit, and sew the pieces together to make quilts. Often groups, made up of friends or family, would work together to make one. If you received a quilt, it was a symbol of friendship made by people who cared and spent a lot of time working on something just for you.”
  3. Each student will need a printed “Quilt Strips” Print Resource and a printed “Quilt Frame” Print Resource. Have your students paint strokes on the “Quilt Strips” paper (printed on white copy paper or thick art paper) with watercolor paint to represent old faded clothing, dark in some areas and light in others. They can also put paint on their brush and lightly hit it against their finger to create spots. 
    • Optional: Make this into a math activity, you can help students measure and draw their own Quilt Frame and Quilt Strips.
  4. Next take the “Quilt Frame” (printed on colored paper) and have students cut along the dotted lines. Be careful to leave the edges intact, not cutting all the way across. 
  5. Once the “Quilt Strips” are dry, cut along the dotted lines. Students will keep one strip of their own and put their other strips into a large pile with all other students’.
  6. Collect the strips and then redistribute them to your class (two per student). After they’ve been passed out (be careful not to give students their own, they can help you with this). 
  7. Have them weave the strips into the “Quilt Frame” (over, under, over, under, over). The neighboring strip will have a different weave pattern (e.g. under, over, under, over, under).
  8. Glue the ends of the strips to the quilt frame. 
  9. Invite students to decorate each part of their quilt’s “blocks” using markers/crayons, illustrating things that they think are important to show and do as a friend. Invite them to add words for extra meaning.

Golden Rule Challenge: Being open to sharing with others will help me make more friends.

Golden Question: How does living the Golden Rule help us do things together?

Classroom Idea: Teacher may create another quilt that is displayed on the wall. When acts of friendship are displayed, individuals will add images to the class quilt, illustrating that act of friendship. This could be used as an incentive for friendly behaviors.

Arts Experience Teacher Guides